Change of the (top) guard at EBay in Germany

05 May 2017

EBay Germany announced an important change in its top management earlier this week. Stefan Wenzel will be replaced by Eben Sermon as managing director and vice president of EBay Germany, the company said (here in German). Sermon will take the reins gradually from Wenzel, as the latter withdraws in the coming weeks.

As Wenzel did, Sermon will report to Paul Todd, senior vice president of EBay EMEA.

Sermon has been with EBay since 2008. Until his appointment this week, he was VP for Greater Europe, responsible for business in France, Italy, Spain and Turkey.

Eben Sermon, incoming managing director of EBay Germany (courtesy of EBay)

Wenzel lasted only one year in the job, and left “for personal reasons”, namely that he had been commuting from Berlin to Hamburg during his time at the company, EBay said.

He backed that up himself with a statement on his Twitter feed this week: “After 7 years of commuting to my family and home base in Hamburg, I decided something had to change,” he tweeted.

Wenzel joined EBay Germany in 2014, where he wore two hats, serving as senior director for EBay Fashion and managing director of Brands4friends, the lifestyle and shopping club that EBay acquired in 2010.

The change in leadership comes at a time when EBay Inc. is implementing a plan to “re-platform” in FY2017 — restructuring its website, focusing on mobile solutions, changing the user experience and sharpening up its global brand, among other things.

In Germany, in addition to the usual pressure from rivals Amazon and local stuff sites, it now faces the prospect of Facebook Marketplace coming to the country.

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Kate Rodriguez

Kate Rodriguez covers the German market for AIM Group. She is a freelance business writer with an extensive background in public policy, business consulting and marketing. Originally from the U.S., Kate is now based in Munich.